Global blog

Thanks,India, France and the USA. Without you I would have almost no readers. I am having to force myself to write anything these days.

I have started a file of poems, old and new, and hopefully will attempt to write a new one for every special occasion. My Christmas one has already been published in a Sea Scribes anthology so I’ll have to try a new one. I did get an idea for an Easter one but it floated away from my memory before I had time to write it down. I don’t keep a notebook by the bed as we are advised to do – or take one out with me when I go shopping!

Then there’s Valentine’s Day, Midsummer day ( I’ve done Halloween) Guy Fawkes Day and, of course, the opportunity to do another pantomime. I do have thoughts about that but I’ll wait to see how the 2017 one is received before I start writing it. Folk might say they don’t want me to do another one.

I did once say I would not write my blog if I had nothing to impart so I may give it a rest until inspiration strikes! I’ll just try to find a picture for you. Julie.IMG_0078

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Reading poetry

Out at the Willows folk club last night to hear a great set from Cadillac Country. I had dug out a couple of old poems in case there was time and Evette squeezed me in.

Once again I forgot to take my camera and I don’t use a smart phone so there are no pictures, suffice to say Brian Winslade and his band were brilliant, such a variety of country and 60’s numbers, including two from an almostElvis! We had a couple of Jim Reeves songs that we all joined in with and, all in all, a fun time was had by all.

The poem caused some reaction as the area I wrote about was familiar to one or two people in the audience. It was written about an incident in about 1950.

Unforgettable

The day I had the slipper’s etched for ever in my brain

That morning I’d not gone to school, I’d not do that again!

That day we had a mental test and I was scared of sums

But hiding in my own garden, now, that was really dumb!

The school alerted mother and she worried where I’d gone

But I was just behind the hedge, too frightened to go home.

They found me soon and then I felt my father’s rage and spite-

He set me down upon his knee and Spanked – to teach me right.

I never ran away again, least, not ’till I was grown

Then, goodbye old grey gas works and crowded terraced homes.

I left the old canal-side that had allotments on,

I left the streets that trolley buses one -time drove along,

I left the past behind me, as people need to do

But I’ll not forget the day that I was slippered –¬† well,would you?

 

New talk

Last night I gave my new talk, “From Manuscript to Microphone” to Worthing Friendship Centre.

This is the first time I have incorporated recordings into my speech and it felt quite odd listening instead of talking. It needed to be much longer. I had it written out but didn’t stick to the script, thinking I could add bits as I went along. It turned out I missed¬† as many parts as I added so it was still only half an hour.

Still, I did get a booking for another talk and I sold a lot of copies of the poetry anthology and a copy of the “Lane” trilogy.

It takes about five talks for me to get so familiar with the content that I can speak without notes but I may combine the two for the next session. I took a camera and forgot to ask anyone to take a photo. Pity, because I have a new stand for the books and the table looked good. I’ll have to use the old picture.

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Remembrance Sunday

Yesterday we watched the service and march past at the Cenotaph. The royals looked extra sad but the march past was excellent.

Then, in the evening, our folk club had a remembrance theme and we had a great variety of songs, from those from the American Civil War, Elvis Presley standards, through the two World Wars, to loves lost and past times remembered. We also had poems from Bryan and one that Joan had written for our poetry anthology, “Reflections, Then and Now” about her Granddad returning from the front.

It seemed a fitting way to end the weekend. I just wish there was some way of changing the style of poppy each year. We still buy some but we have a number of them in the house and soon there will be enough for one on every coat and we will have to start throwing them away. Somehow that seems a shame.

More destruction

Not really, only gardening! Hubby and I have reduced the privet bush by a third. That’s my exercise for today.

As I’m not writing I’m going to continue throwing away unwanted paper. This is Spring cleaning in Autumn!

My Drama writing course is nearly complete and I have written a short play and await my tutor’s comments. Thrashing around for something to write I began a poem about Halloween.

“All Hallows Night the Spirits roam, returning to their earthly home.

The creaking door, the echoing floor, the signs that they’ve been here before.

Now shiver as the air grows chill, their silent presence haunts us still

We dress as witches, unaware that ghostly forms around us care

That in our fun we mock their plight, to be unloved on this one night.

We cannot hear their cries of pain, their sorrow that they must remain

For ever searching for the peace that means their souls get their release

And from their earthly prison fly- while we enjoy our pumpkin pie!!

Another poem

Living in Worthing we have had a company digging up our roads to give us new plastic gas pipes and this has caused me to write this silly little verse.

Today the corner of our street sprouted another barrier

They’re such a pretty apple green but make the road much narrower

Behind this simple plastic fence are tunnels deep and wide

And showing, when the digger’s gone, bright yellow pipes inside.

For every road in our fine town has gas pipes to replace-

The pavement’s blocked and little signs warn people there’s no space.

The cones, like sentries, guard the holes and keep the cars away

How glad I’ll be when they’ve moved on, leaving the pavements grey.

The patchwork footpath now looks odd but maybe it is good-

Pink paving stones can crack and lift – and it is time we should

Be grateful to the company for making it all neater

As long as it does not demand we have a new Smart meter!

Public Speaking

Public speaking is almost as enjoyable as writing. Having been a schoolteacher I don’t get nervous talking to a crowd and I get a real kick out of hearing people laugh.

I have just had my second booking for 2018 and hope to find more readers for my books. I am reluctant to book evening meetings now but all days up to September except Thursdays and Fridays are free at present – until I book a holiday! Luckily I have just ordered some more copies of the poetry anthology and am planning to get some more bookmarks. The first 100 copies of “Reflections, Then and Now,” will not last until Christmas as we are taking them away for a weekend where the folk know us and usually support our writing.

I have a talking spot in the Southern Bookshow planned for March and I am planning a topic that others may not use. ( With a plan B in case that doesn’t work!)